Dr. Zara M. Patel is Director of Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery and an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery at Stanford. She was born and raised in St. Louis, completed her MD at the Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon and completed her residency training in otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY. After pursuing fellowship training in rhinology and endoscopic skull base surgery at Stanford University, she was recruited to join the Emory University faculty in Atlanta in 2011. After four years, the rhinology division recruited her back to the West coast to rejoin the department here at Stanford University.

Dr. Patel is an expert in advanced endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery. She treats patients with a wide variety of rhinologic complaints, including chronic sinus infection or inflammation, sinus disease that has failed medical therapy, sinus disease that has failed prior surgical therapy, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, benign and and malignant sinus and skull base tumors, as well as olfactory disorders.

She is immediate past-Chair of the Education Committee and now Member of the Board of Directors for the American Rhinologic Society and has developed a multitude of educational materials for both physicians and patients to help them better understand rhinologic disorders. She is passionate about educating patients to allow them to make the best decisions about their own care, leading to better outcomes.

Dr. Patel has published widely in topics such as avoiding complications in endoscopic sinus surgery, chronic rhinosinusitis in the immunosuppressed patient population, new devices and techniques for endoscopic skull base surgery, and olfactory dysfunction. She continues to perform research in these areas, and is beginning collaborative efforts with neuroscientists and engineers to develop technology that she hopes will eventually help cure patients with olfactory loss.

Professional Summary

Professional Education
  • Residency: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (2010) NY
  • Internship: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (2006) NY
  • Board Certification: American Board of Otolaryngology, Otolaryngology (2011)
  • Fellowship: Stanford School of Medicine (2011) CA
  • Medical Education: Oregon Health Science University (2005) OR

Honors & Awards
  • Bright Flight Scholarship, University of Missouri (1997-2001)
  • Campbell Scholarhsip, Oregon Health and Sciences University (2004)
  • Fellow, American Rhinologic Society (2016)
  • First Place, New York City Otolaryngology Resident Research Day (2008)
  • Hughes Academic Achievement Award, State of Missouri (2000)
  • Inductee, National Honor Society, Phi Bet Kappa (2000)
  • Inductee, National Honor Society, Phi Eta SIgma (1998)
  • Inductee, National Medical Honors Society, Alpha Omega Alpha (2004)
  • Leadership Grant, American Academy of Otolaryngology (2007, 2008)
  • Miller Memorial Fund Scholarship, University of Missouri (2001-2003)
  • Mount Sinai Resident Teaching Award, Mount Sinai Medical School (2010)
  • National Merit Finalist, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (1997)
  • OHSU Rose Award, Oregon Health and Sciences University (2003)
  • Woodruff Teaching Award, Emory University (2014)

Administrative Appointments
  • Director of Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (2017 - Present)
  • Director Rhinology Fellowship, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Stanford University (2015 - Present)


Clinical Trials

Specializing In

Practice Locations

Sinus Center Stanford, CA
Stanford, CA

801 Welch Road, 1st Floor

Stanford , CA 94305

(650) 723-5281

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Facial Pain Program Redwood City, CA
Redwood City, CA

450 Broadway Street, Pavilion A, 1st Floor

Redwood City , CA 94063

(650) 723-6238

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Skull Base Surgery Program Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

213 Quarry Road

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 497-7777

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Patient Ratings

(131 Ratings)

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Patient Reviews

(81 reviews)

Forward thinking and imaginative.
I seriously want my sons to see Dr Patel.
I appreciate that both Dr. Patel and Sarah (NP) explained/followed up about the budejonide and made me feel reassured.
Dr. Patel was incredibly patient kind and knowledgeable about my problem
My experience prior coming to Stanford was very poor. Since transitioning my care, it has been a breath of fresh air & has given me hope again.
Dr Patel is an amazing physician and very warm and caring person.
Dr. Patel is the best!
Excellent care.
My local ENT couldn't figure out what was wrong. Dr. Patel was able to figure it out and come up with a game plan! I'm very pleased.
very positive experience
Many thanks.
Dr. Patel has great bedside manner.
Dr. Zara Patel was simply amazing! She listened to me. She did not make me feel rushed. She empathized with me. And, she discussed treatment options to make sure that I was comfortable with the treatment plan. I was VERY pleased with my visit with her.
Dr. Patel is very good she explained everything really well, she is a great doctor.
II was told I could ask for more anesthetic, which I did twice. I'm certain that if I had a problem Dr. Patel would have listened to my concern.
Good experience with Dr. Patel - seems over worked!
Dr. Patel was wonderfully competent. First accurate diagnosis I have received in 2 years of seeing many bumbling ENT specialists. She was was a breath of fresh air. Explained and showed me images of my problem, was brisk but not rushed, and she has a sense of humor. I couldn't be happier with my choice of physician.
Very thoughtful and listened to me.
Dr Patel and staff are amazing
Dr. Patel knows her field and shares the knowledge in a way that I can understand.
My experience was very good from the personal nurses and do not say about the doctors they are the best that God has put in my life.
She's a lovely doctor/person but there's little she can do for me.
Answered my questions thoroughly and was even able to speak Spanish when explaining my condition to my family.
Very thorough.
The doctor is very knowledgeable and careful to pass on the relevant information about condition and medication.
All staff was extremely thorough & specific with information.
All that took care of me were great.
Patel was excellent.
I have already recommended her to several people. Dr. Patel is kind, listens to my concerns, and and explains everything well. I am very happy with her care and expertise.
Very comfortable with Dr. Patel
Dr. Patel is absolutely the BEST!
Excellent PROVIDER!!
Dr. Patel was very thorough, recognized my level of awareness and addressed me accordingly.
Dr. Patel is very kind and always made sure I had gotten all my questions answered. Thank you!
Dr. Patel came across as a brilliant doctor. After the visit, my wife and I are completely confident in her ability to take care of my medical needs.
Dr Patel and her NP(?) Dr Lee have always been amazing to me. When have questions they're more then willing to give detailed answers and explanations until I understand and am at ease.
Dr Zara Patel was very thorough with the explanation of my condition
Dr. Patel is an outstanding and exemplary ENT attending. I recommend a letter of commendation for outstanding achievement.
top notch... excellent
Dr. Patel is the first ENT to explain my condition and to outline the appropriate treatment. I am an RN, so this was astounding to me. This visit was very reassuring and it was because of her level of concern and knowledge.
Dr. Patel is a most knowledgeable and an excellent provider. Stanford Health is doing an excellent job of marketing it self by providing superior service by ALL employees.
First-rate doctor. did a very thorough exam and spent quite a bit of time with me. Will happily return to see her. I would have liked to have discussed the surgery option a bit more, but in all fairness, she had already spent a lot of time with me!n did a very thorough exam and spent quite a bit of time with me. Will happily return to see her. I would have liked to have discussed the surgery option a bit more, but in all fairness, she had already spent a lot of time with me!
I don't believe the issue of my bleeding and where it's coming from was addressed, Dr. Patel showed me the topical view inside my left nostrils still have discharge nearly every day.
Dr Patel is an outstanding medical provider
Dr. Patel was extremely professional caring and a great time for me.
After the nightmare experience I had with Peninsula ER, doctors on call and my previous ENT, Dr. Patel deserves an above and beyond a 5 ( very good rating). She deserves a 10+!
Exceptional care!!
Dr. Patel is an excellent doctor. She shows compassion and I have a lot of trust in her.
Dr. Patel was excellent.
Love Dr. Patel.
Excellent and very caring.
I would highly recommend Dr. Patel. She is very caring and compassionate. She explains everything completely.
Was very watchful of everything & gave much attention to all the symptoms I had had before the surgery & answered all the questions.
All my injuries were answered in detailed.
Doctor Patel is very attentive to the patient is very jovial & makes an effort to understanding me.
Dr. Patel was excellent. Her team was also very good.
my concerns were not addressed. i left feeling helpless about the pain and symptoms i was suffering as she did not seem to want to address them or have answers for me.
I really didn't want to be included in the decision process. I totally relied on my doctor's advice and would have done anything she said. She made sure I knew what to do, but the decision about my care was entirely hers, and I liked that.
dr. Patel is amazing I would recommend her to everyone. A true professional and a credit to Stanford Health Care.
Excellent skill by the care provider. Would have liked just a bit more information about aftercare and follow up appt.
care provvider was exceptionally sensitive to my needs
Dr. Patel is the best doctor I have met w/ at Stanford. Great patient relations.
Dr. Patel is kind, caring & gentle.
Dr. Patel is great.
Dr. Patel was very compassionate and with great concern for me.
I was amazed at the personal attention & concern I was given. It instilled confidence.
Dr. Patel is great!
Very impressed with Doctor and staff. Doctor took a great deal of time going through things.
Excellent care. Thank you.
This appointment was regarding anosmia following a complex history including sleep apnea, sinus infection, GI, and neurological issues. I was expecting to perhaps be able to quantify it and make sure it wasn't getting worse, but Dr. Patel not only did this but also suggested a treatment plan with essential oils and gave me ~50% odds of regaining some smell. So far things do not seem to be getting worse and maybe even slightly better.
The medical words I did not know was explained thoroughly
Dr. Patel very knowledgeable re my condition.
I can't say anything to my provider. She explains everything.
Relieved of expertise of Dr. Patel - gave me hope.

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